Pearl Harbor: Watch a live dive on two sunk Japanese mini submarines

The conning tower of the mini submarine sunk by the USS Ward. Photo: University of Hawaiʻi/HURL/NOAA

The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will live-stream a dive on two Japanese mini submarines sunk during the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.

75 years later, a team of maritime archaeologists and scientists from NOAA’s office of national marine sanctuaries and office of ocean exploration and research will live-stream the dive.

A remotely operated vehicle deployed off of the NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer will send back images of the wreck site.

As part of the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, the Imperial Japanese Navy sent a pack of submarines to surround Oahu and sink ships attempting to flee.

Mini submarines were deployed from “mother submarines” with a mission to enter the harbor and fire torpedoes during the aerial attack.

They were then expected to dive and escape the harbor after meeting up with their mother submarines on the night of December 7.

While the aerial attack was devastating, the mini submarines failed in their mission. Only one made it into the harbor, and it was quickly sunk during the attack that morning. Another submarine washed ashore on the morning of December 8, and its surviving crew member, Kazuo Sakamaki, was captured along with his craft.

The submarine was studied and then toured the U.S. to promote the sale of War Bonds. It is now on permanent display at the National Museum of the Pacific War in Fredericksburg, Texas.

A third submarine was observed more than an hour before the attack trying to follow a U.S. ship into the harbor. It was quickly engaged and sunk by the crew of the destroyer USS Ward. The two other mini submarines disappeared.

NOAA said live streaming would start December 7, at 6:30 a.m. HST (8:30 a.m. PST, 11:30 a.m. EST.) Once streaming starts you will be able to watch it on videos below or here.

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